SFEBES2008 Poster Presentations Reproduction (22 abstracts)
Background: Hirsutism carries with it significant cosmetic and psycho-social issues. Recent research has shown that various spearmint herbal tea preparations have anti-androgenic properties.
What is not known are the specific biochemical reductions in androgen levels and also more importantly, the clinical effects judged both subjectively and objectively of the use of spearmint tea for patients with Hirsutism due to PCOS (REC approved).
Objectives: We wished to assess the changes in free androgen levels and clinical rating scores of patients with established Hirsutism, in patients taking spearmint herbal tea for a prolonged time period.
Methods: The study population consisted of females with PCOS and hirsutism with documented levels of elevated androgen hormone levels, who were non-responsive to, or poorly tolerant of existing medical therapy. Patients were randomised to two groups. The first were asked to drink two cups of spearmint tea for a period of 30 days. The second group were given a placebo tea. At the beginning and end of the trial period all patients had their serum androgens checked, their clinical degree of hirsutism was assessed using the Ferriman-Galway score (FG) and the patients were given a questionnaire regarding their hirsutism (dermatology quality of life index DLQI).
Results: The spearmint tea group showed a significant decrease in their plasma levels of androgens over the trial period (P<0.05) and a significant improvement in their DLQI scores, compared with the placebo group. However the decrease in FG scores (the objective clinical measure) were below the level of significance.
Conclusions: Our research trial demonstrates that the use of spearmint herbal tea has significant measurable anti-androgen effects in patients with hirsutism due to PCOS. We predict that had the patients continued with the treatment for a longer period of time then the reductions in androgen hormone levels would have translated into improvements in the Ferriman-Galway objective ratings of hirsutism as suggested by improvements in the DLQI scores.